Saturday, November 3, 2012

Leaders Don't Bark

                                                                                                                                                                In a previous post, we talked about barking- specifically how to get your dog to stop barking.  The topic of barking is a noisy one.  Most of the noise is misconceptions regarding what barking tells us about the relationship between people and their dogs.

Let's talk about the notion that when you yell at your dog while he's barking that makes him think you are barking too. 

True   if you are just another pack member
False   if you are a leader

This difference is important.  And this is why some dogs don't listen to their people.  You can read all the advice you want on how to train your dog but if he doesn't see you as the boss, he isn't likely to do what you say.

Not sure how your dog sees you?  Hint.  When a stranger approaches the front door and your dog barks and barks at the door, he figures he has to take care of this situation himself.  If your dogs barks then looks at you, he anticipates your leadership.

Worried that you aren't a leader?  It's not too late to exert leadership even if you haven't before.  You'll have to boss your dog around.  Trust me, he'll still be your pal when you are the boss.

How do you lead?  Start simply.  Make him sit before he gets a treat.  If he doesn't sit, no treat.  Keep that up and he'll get the message.  When a leader gives a command it is obeyed.



  1. Our former landlord once told me he could tell if we were home or not when he knocked on the door, even if we didn't answer immediately. He said our German shepherd didn't bark if we weren't home!

    She would let people in the apartment if we weren't home. She just wouldn't let them leave.